If you were at the recent University Malaysia Sabah convocation, you may have seen pretty Thara Zainal. She was the first one to receive her scroll that Monday afternoon, the one who won the Royal Education Award (in Malay, it’s “Anugerah Pelajaran DiRaja”) AND the one who made a speech during that 6th convocation session that weekend.
“I was excited and nervous at the same time – to be the first one entering the Chancellor Hall, and the first to go on stage!” Thara gushed.
You see, she was the first to enter the hall because she’s the outstanding one of her batch. Of the 4,336 receiving their scroll that weekend, just 49 graduated with first class honours and only 5 were from her faculty (including her).
The feisty business degree holder knew right from the start that she wanted to graduate with first class honours, “But it was quite tough because I have my own weaknesses. I didn’t even make it into the Dean’s List during my second semester.”
She was determined though and took it as a challenge to do better the next semester.
While Thara says that her family & her loved ones motivate her to do her best, she attributes her success to mum Tulip Noorazyze, who is the Director of Quality Improvement & Corporate Social Responsibility at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, “I idolize her in every single way because she is my superwoman. And also my supermum!”
Thara’s doing her Masters in Business Administration in University Malaysia Sabah now. Peering into the looking glass, she sees herself working for about 10 years before pursuing her PhD, “I want to share my knowledge to the society, maybe be a lecturer.”
She’s such a happy & brilliant young woman. We’re certain she’s going to beat all odds & make all this happen because “…you have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Seuss in his book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”,